A favorite Jewish cake since the middle ages in Germany, delicious Honey Cake celebrates a sweet new year and all other festive occasions. Adaptable, dairy free and can be gluten free and vegan.
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds, divided (75 gm)
- 2 eggs or egg replacement
- 1 cup sugar (200 gm)
- 1/2 cup light olive or safflower oil (125 ml)
- 1 cup honey or dark agave (250 ml)
- 1/2 cup strong black coffee (125 ml)
- 2 tablespoons brandy, rum or bourbon (30 ml) (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (10 gm)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2 gm)
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (5 gm)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice (1 gm)
- grated zest of one orange
- 2 cups all purpose or gluten free flour (300 gm) + extra to dust nuts and fruit
- 1/3 cup golden raisins (40 gm)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place racks in center of oven.
- Gather and measure out all ingredients before you begin.
- On a baking sheet lined with foil, toast 1/2 cup almonds at 350 F for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Use an electric mixer or whisk to beat eggs or egg replacement and sugar together until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.(Tip: Pour oil into a glass measuring cup first and then add the honey. The honey will be easier to pour into the batter.) Pour in oil, honey, coffee, liquor or vanilla and blend well.
- Combine dry ingredients: baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves or allspice, orange zest and flour.
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients about a third at a time. Beat on low and stop to scrape down sides a few times.
- In a separate bowl, mix a tablespoon of flour into toasted nuts and raisins. Stir them into the batter just until blended.
- Size options: Use a 9 inch (24 cm) pan or two 9 x 5 inch ( 24x 13 cm) loaf pans lined with parchment or foil. Pour in the batter and sprinkle with 1/4 cup untoasted almonds.
- Bake larger cake 55 min-1 hour and 2 smaller ones 40 -45 minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cake flavors are even better on the second day.
- Fresh cake lasts about 5 days. Well wrapped frozen cake lasts up to 3 months.
- Serve with extra toasted almonds, a dish of honey and coffee, tea or something stronger!
Recipe adapted from Honey Cake or Lekach
by Claudia Roden, The Book Of Jewish Food